‘Simple Pleasures’ Essay by Writer with ALS Published in NYT

by Christina Medvescek on Thu, 2010-11-18 12:39

The slower life of ALS has provided new inspiration for this attorney-turned-writer

Article Highlights:
  • Attorney Neil Selinger turned to writing in 2007, just before receiving a diagnosis of ALS. In 2010, a short video about Selinger was featured on the MDA Telethon.
  • One of Selinger’s essays about life with ALS, “After a Life in Law, Focusing on Simple Pleasures,” was published in the New York Times blog “Courthouse Confidential” on Nov. 12, 2010.

Neil Selinger, 57, of Larchmont, N.Y., was a high-powered attorney working on high-profile, high-dollar cases when he decided to set it all aside in 2007 to pursue volunteering and writing. 

In 2009, his life underwent yet another change when he received a diagnosis of ALS. The disease hasn’t stopped Selinger’s writing, but it has added a new slant to his point of view.

Selinger recently had one of his essays published in the New York Times blog “Courthouse Confidential” regarding his new perspective on the passage of time now that ALS has severely limited his activities.

After a Life in Law, Focusing on Simple Pleasures,” published Nov. 12, 2010, describes Selinger’s daily routines and the luxury of time which allows him to enjoy them in a way he never could before ALS.

Selinger writes:

“My former kinetic self would not understand the pleasure I derive from staring quietly at my newly limited world, or the small acts that are the highlights of my afternoon: a visit from a friend, a well-made sandwich, our teenager returning from school, hearing Rima laugh, reading and re-reading a paragraph I wrote, taking a nap with the dog nestled beside me…As Rima swings my legs onto the bed, I am overcome with satisfaction. I have made it through another day.”

One comment left on the blog noted, “I was sitting in court waiting for my case to be called, thinking of all of the things I have to do and I ran across this beautiful essay. Thank you Mr. Selinger. You just transformed my day.”

Selinger and his family were the subjects of a video profile on this year’s Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. The profile is available for viewing online.

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